The Compendium of Scientific, Medical, and Media Findings Demonstrating Risks and Harms of Fracking (the Compendium) is a fully referenced compilation of the evidence outlining the risks and harms of fracking. It is a public, open-access document that is housed on the websites of Concerned Health Professionals of New York (www.concernedhealthny.org) and Physicians for Social Responsibility (www.psr.org).
The Compendium is organized to be accessible to public officials, researchers, journalists, and the public at large. The reader who wants to delve deeper can consult the reviews, studies, and articles referenced herein. In addition, the Compendium is complemented by a fully searchable, near-exhaustive citation database of peer-reviewed journal articles pertaining to shale gas and oil extraction, the Repository for Oil and Gas Energy Research, that was developed by PSE Healthy Energy and which is housed on its website (https://www.psehealthyenergy.org/our-work/shale-gas-research-library/).
The Compendium focuses on topics most closely related to the public health and safety impacts of unconventional gas and oil drilling and fracking. Additional risks and harms arise from associated infrastructure and industrial activities that necessarily accompany drilling and fracking operations. A detailed accounting of all these ancillary impacts is beyond the scope of this document. Nevertheless, we include in this edition a section on risks from fracking infrastructure that focuses on compressor stations, pipelines, silica sand mining operations, natural gas storage facilities, and, for the first time, the manufacture and transportation of liquefied natural gas (LNG).
The second Compendium was published in December 2014
Almost concurrently, on December 17, 2014, the New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH) released its own review of the public health impacts of fracking. This document served as the foundation for a statewide ban on high-volume hydraulic fracturing (HVHF), announced by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on the same day. Its conclusions largely aligned with our own:
It is clear from the existing literature and experience that HVHF activity has resulted in environmental impacts that are potentially adverse to public health. Until the science provides sufficient information to determine the level of risk to public health from HVHF and whether the risks can be adequately managed, HVHF should not proceed in New York State.